Fishing for clues

the basics of ice fishing are you cut a hole in the ice, and then fish for fish.
i'm sure it takes some experience to know where to make your hole, but you start with the hole and go from there.

in the past, when i've wanted something new, i've concluded that i needed it, that it's absence from my wardrobe generated that need, and buying it would fill a hole. very productive-sounding, no? but it also seems backward. wouldn't it make more sense to discover the hole before discovering a way to fill it?

now that i'm committed to shopping differently, i am making a point to be aware of and enjoy what i have - an early thanksgiving, if you will.
everyday dresses (fall, winter, spring, summer) - check
basic cardigans (fall, winter) - check
pants (fall, winter, spring, summer) - check
shorts (both polished and semi-casual) - check
skirts (both semi-polished and semi-casual) - check
tops (soft, warm, cool, formal, casual) - check
formal attire - check
accessories, bags, hats - check
blazers, coats and jackets (fall/winter, spring) - check
shoes (to go with all of the above) - check

judging from this list, other than things needing to be replaced as they shred/disintegrate, i really shouldn't feel as though i need anything... ever again.

how do you discover the holes in your wardrobe?


Carlene said...

When things I love to wear go unworn because I don't have the _______ to go with it.

(Right now it's lightweight brown trousers)

erica said...

i conduct annual wardrobe purges. i pull everything out into full view and make an inventory. anything i haven't worn in the past year goes into a bag. one year later i pull the bag out and decide which things i should donate, and which things deserve a second chance.

regarding holes in your wardrobe... hmm. does one categorize by color? print? silhouette? fabric weight?

i buy what i love, but i try to restrict my purchases to 2-5 things a season. if i buy a lot of plaid button downs, i guess that's what i want to wear at that moment. i'll probably cull my collection in a few years, but that's an issue of wear and tear.

Prêt-à-Porter P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prêt-à-Porter P said...

Perfect timing I just filled one of my holes yesterday. After doing a wardrobe inventory, I realized I only had 1 pair of black trousers that I can wear with flats, after casting off an ill fitting pair.

But usually I discover holes by:

-Color. usu in a t-shirt that I would need to layer with or handbag (to be matchy matchy with my shoes)

-Silhouette. Skinny jeans to wear with long tunic tops. And I guess pants lengths for heels vs. flats falls under this category to.

-Replacements. Wear and tear.

Nancy said...

Usually a need is discovered by a garment breaking down, or the appearance of something new that has nothing to go with it.

When something I wear a lot gets a hole in it or some other inoperable condition, I get another one. In the case of pants, this is often a long, heartbreaking task.

I try not to buy things that don't go with anything I own. Sometimes I will buy something if it only needs one things to go with it. I recently found a need for a navy shirt. I didn't have any of them, and my skirt wanted to be worn with one. Could I find one? Haha, no.

When I do find a (metaphorical) hole, I let the solution stew in my brain for a while, so as not to do anything rash. If I still want to buy something after I think it over, I will.

Iheartfashion said...

I've never shopped with wardrobe holes in mind, unless it's for a special occasion like a wedding. Otherwise, I just buy what I want without much thought for "need." I'm sure I could comfortably wear what I already have for the rest of my life, without running out of clothes, but what fun would that be?

The Seeker said...

I make an iventory, see what's missing in new trends I like, and buy some pieces that fits with I have, and sometimes I buy a pice just 1 that I fall in love without thinking much.

enc said...

I discover the holes in my wardrobe when I am dressing, and feel a whim/wish, and say "if only I had ______!" much like carlene said above.

This happens when I'm in certain moods: i.e., bored with what I already own, or feel limited by what I can do with what I own. When I wish repeatedly for something, I know the w/w is no longer merely a whim. It then earns official "hole" status, and I put it on a shopping list.

K.Line said...

I read every fashion and lifestyle magazine on the planet (only small overstatement) and read upwards of 90 blogs a day (just counted, yikes!) so it's almost impossible not to be hit over the head with the holes in my wardrobe :-) Having said this, I do try to repurpose a lot of my clothes to suit a recent (or perhaps flash in the pan) trend. And, while I'm on a total acquisition kick lately (for the past 8 months or so), I have been known to go through dry spells where nothing pans out. Which is why I have to plug those holes while the getting is good. Or so I tell my sorry, consumerist ass.

Jessica said...

I think needs and holes develop as one's life evolves. This is a poor example, but the wardrobe I needed in college is certainly much different than I need now. And as my personal preferences evolve, I create needs to complement them.

editor said...

carlene - that makes sense.
as i wrote up my list, i saw a hole, and it was entirely independent of other items or having a need. it just seemed like a basic that i was missing - a light-weight spring/summer cardigan. that's the only thing.

erica - up until now i always operated on buying what i loved. i just love to much. :)

candid - sounds like an "as needed" basis.

nancy - "I let the solution stew in my brain for a while, so as not to do anything rash." you are very very sane. a role model. :D

iheartfashion - on the contrary, i find it extremely pleasurable to finally pay full attention to what i own, and get the satisfaction from the items that i obviously expected to get when i initially purchased them. prior to this intentional decision not to shop casually/regularly, i always had one eye out for something new, yet i know that each purchase i made was with the best of intentions to enjoy the new item. i don't think i've really done that until now. made the pursuit of new and wonderful things sort of pointless, in a way. like eating a delicious meal while perusing a dessert menu.

the seeker - the inventory i made for this post has already helped.

enc - i find that once i get an idea about an item, i keep wishing for it until i get it. the want rarely goes away on its own.

k.line - the thoughts about fashion that magazines and blogs generate in me rarely if ever have anything to do with legitimate holes in my wardrobe.

jessica - that is a style shift you are talking about. but then once you adjust to a new life/identity/style/need, then within that wardrobe, there are smaller holes, no?